Puzz 3D CD: Orient Express

Developer/Publisher:  Wrebbit Interactive
Year Released:  2000

Review by Rosemary Young (October, 2001)
To date there are four games in this Wrebbit Puzz 3D Series. When I played my first one, Victorian Mansion, a couple of years ago it was so good I made a mental note to find and play the remaining titles. This is my second sampling and I'm still licking my lips and looking for more.

Jigsaw plus
As with the other titles this game is basically a 3D Jigsaw with some added extras to spice it up. Here I won't go into the intricacies of the interface or the numerous features of the jigsaw component because it is very similar to the Victorian Mansion version and you can read that review to get the necessary information. It 'feels' and sounds just the same so completing the picture is very satisfying, and it also has a short tutorial to start you off as well as four difficulty levels so that a range of players can try their hand and save their progress separately.

Once more you are challenged to fit a picture together, the Orient Express on this occasion. You build your creation in 'sections', which can be stored away in a 'tray' pending final assembly. These sections can be 'flat' or you can go a step further and join them up to make more complex 3D sections. Maybe I found completing the jigsaw a shade more difficult this time around, and I certainly didn't link up all the 3D connections. Fortunately this isn't necessary because you can skip this stage. With or without completing the 3D sections, everything will snap together when you build your final creation.

The background
The background story in Victorian Mansion revolved around family intrigue ... the story in Orient Express, not surprisingly, involves international intrigue. When you start up the game your first meeting is with a 'famous' clairvoyant who plies her trade using mah-jong tiles. She greets you and tells you that you are about to take a journey on the Orient Express, a fateful journey that will involve either war or peace. She will be joining the train but, as it is you who is destiny's agent, you are invited to begin playing.

Simply start fitting the pieces together and at particular stages of progress you will meet various passengers in short video sequences as they interact with each other. Here you can pick up nuances and store them away for later. At other times progression to a particular point will offer a short snippet of information about the Orient Express and this part is fascinating, learning a little about the role that the train took in war torn Europe and picking up some minor details regarding, for instance, the regulations imposed on travellers. Shoes had to be removed before using the sleeping bunks, and only small dogs could accompany their owners ... no mongrels, of course.

Travellin' on
When you complete the three train sections that comprise this jigsaw you are then invited aboard to take a look around. Here you can meet more passengers, solve some puzzles and collect up a number of ciphers or slips of paper containing words that will help you solve the final challenge. This involves reading clues associated with mah-jong tiles and matching the correct word with the correct tile, which in turn prompts the video ending to the story.

This is once more a very enjoyable Puzz 3D game. It has a bit of everything: a jigsaw, a story to follow, the final word game and a small selection of other puzzles as well. One of the intervening puzzles involves a cipher machine and working out a code using a process of elimination, another is a music puzzle and, wonder of wonders; I actually solved it without too much trouble because it entails remembering a sequence of notes rather than a single note. Single note recognition is absolutely beyond me! The other puzzle worth mentioning is the whopper of a slider that kept me entertained for ages ... if you have an aversion to any of these puzzle types the very good news is that you can skip them and continue on to the end of the game.

Puzz 3D Orient Express is a real treat for jigsaw fans and I can end with the very good news that there is another game in the series about to be released. Hopefully I can get my hands on it soon and, maybe, review it in time for Christmas. rating:  

Copyright © Rosemary Young 2001. All rights reserved.

System Requirements:
Win 95 or higher, P133 MHz (200 MHz recommended), 32MB RAM, Microsoft compatible Mouse, 60 MB free Hard Drive space.
Video & Display: 640x480, 16-bit colors, DirectX certified video driver (1 MB of cache video memory recommended), CD-ROM: 2X speed (minimum)

MacOS 8 or higher, PowerPC 120 Mhz (200 Mhz recommended) 32 MB RAM, 50 MB free hard drive space, Video & Display 640x480, 16-bit colors, 2x CD-ROM (minimum).